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  • Writer's pictureArizona Senate Republicans

Governor Vetoes Bill Aimed at Protecting Parental Rights and Mental Health of Arizona Kids

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Monday, May 22, 2023



Governor Vetoes Bill Aimed at Protecting Parental Rights

and Mental Health of Arizona Kids


PHOENIX, ARIZONA— Some Arizona public schools are pushing the use of gender pronouns on their students without parental knowledge as a way to mask from parents the psychiatric issues certain kids are experiencing in growing numbers. Now, Senator John Kavanagh is sounding off after a bill he championed to address the mental health implications of gender dysphoria with children, and the rights of parents on this matter, was vetoed by the Governor today.


SB 1001 (pronouns; biological sex; school policies) would have prohibited a school district or charter school from knowingly referring to students under the age of 18 by a pronoun that differs from the child's biological sex, or a first name that is not listed in school records. This bill would have also prevented schools from requiring their staff to use a pronoun that differs from a person's biological sex, if doing so is contrary to their own personal convictions.


According to the National Library of Medicine, gender dysphoria among children is becoming increasingly common and is associated with numerous other psychiatric conditions as well as suicide, therefore, "it is essential that every provider who cares for adolescents be well informed and prepared to recognize and respond to these risks."


"Parents have a right to know if their children are in psychological turmoil. Parents also need to know if their children are confused, depressed, anxious, isolating themselves, having suicidal thoughts or are in need of mental health care because of gender dysphoria. Parents can't get their children the counseling or therapy needed if their school is hiding this information from them," said Senator Kavanagh. "Additionally, if a child is receiving mental health care and that child's physician advises not to treat the child as a different gender, then a school going against the doctor's wishes without the parent's permission would create reason for a lawsuit. This is a dangerous situation for children who are struggling with mental health issues. For the Governor to turn a blind eye to what's happening is reckless and irresponsible. I would expect more from a former social worker."

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For more information, contact:

Kim Quintero

Director of Communications | Arizona State Senate Republican Caucus

kquintero@azleg.gov


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